Nightstop keeps young homeless off the street

Aylesbury Nightstop team, manager Fran Borg Wheeler (centre) with deputy manager Paul Doble and volunteer host Sue Haines
Aylesbury Nightstop team, manager Fran Borg Wheeler (centre) with deputy manager Paul Doble and volunteer host Sue Haines

Homeless young people and hosts who have given them a bed for the night have paid tribute to Aylesbury’s Nightstop service.

The scheme, which launched in September, gives under 25s somewhere to stay with volunteers hosts.

Founders say they are delighted with it, with every person referred to it given a bed, and those who have been involved full of praise.

One host, Sue Haines, said: “After initial uncertainty about how it would turn out, all of my overnight guests were friendly and polite and very appreciative of the hospitality offered. It can make a big difference for them to have a safe place even just for a night or two, and it’s been a privilege to be able to help.”

One young person who was recently accommodated said it kept them out of the cold.

They said: “I was feeling nervous when I turned up at the host’s house as it was new but she made me feel welcome and part of the household.

“I really don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t had Nightstop.

“I had help from the staff to talk to the council to persuade them I was priority because of my mental health problems and a week later I have got my own little flat.”

Now that it has established itself in Aylesbury, Nightstop is looking to expand and hopes to recruit at least three new hosts to help with this.

Manager Fran Borg-Wheeler said: “It’s an occasional night, the hosts just need a spare room and compassion for a young person facing a homeless crisis.

“What we want to start doing in the next year is looking at what’s happened to the young people six months down the line. We want to look at the long-term picture.”

Email fran@youthconcern.org.uk to be a host or if you are a young person in need.